Dirk Zoete, So Called Human; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Surely it is a cliché to say life is a mystery and that we don’t live long enough to solve it.

However, assuming that life is indeed a mystery, the most mysterious part of it is undoubtedly us, the human race itself.

We imagine ourselves to be free, but in the mean time we have our rituals and our ways of thinking to try and guarantee us that freedom, while at the same time we are caught by time, space and life itself and all its limitations.

Dirk Zoete (1969), who presently shows his work at Galerie Maurits van de Laar, shows the human being in its restricted life, as it puts on a mask of culture and character, as if to mislead anything that could have power over it, including other human beings.

Imagine you enter the gallery and they are silently trying to defuse you.

How would you react?

I’d strongly give you the advise to give it a try and to see how much you have in common with them!

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Dirk Zoete and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!!

Robbie Cornelissen, Dirk Zoete & Rik Smits, This Must Be The Place; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Rik Smits

I visited Maurits van de Laar’s gallery a few days ago to write an article about a work by Rik Smits (1983) for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

Rik Smits
Rik Smits

However, the present exhibition is much bigger than just that work.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits

This Must Be The Place shows works by Smits, Robbie Cornelissen (1954) and Dirk Zoete (1969), all three of them very good draughtsmen.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits

As the title implies, the works on show all have a strong sense of place, which results in a kind of inner landscapes, cityscapes and architectural interiors.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits
Rik Smits

Zoete is the only one who explicitly depicts human beings in his landscapes, which seem to be very simple, especially compared to Cornelissen’s and Smits’ works.

Dirk Zoete
Dirk Zoete

However, that simplicity is deceptive as the concepts of his works are extremely balanced, such that there is no place for hidden details, but plenty of room for interpretation.

Dirk Zoete
Dirk Zoete

His figures and animals are very lively and his compositions could be described as both melodic and rhythmic.

Dirk Zoete
Robbie Cornelissen

Cornelissen’s works, monumental as they sometimes may be, are probably best described as inner spaces.

Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

Knowledge and culture often play a referential role.

Robbie Cornelissen
Robbie Cornelissen

Even linear perspective itself retains its more or less intellectual aspect as if inherited from Renaissance artists.

Robbie Cornelissen
Rik Smits

Apart from two sculptures, Smits shows some impressive drawings, most of them cityscapes.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits

It might be enticing to some to refer to Smits’ empty cities and buildings as dystopias, but i think his architectural capriccios show buildings as individuals and cities as living organisms, which is a much wider scope than the trendy dystopia idea.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits
Rik Smits

Generally it is a very full and brilliant show.

Rik Smits
Rik Smits

Be sure to take your time when visiting as the works are full of detail.

Rik Smits

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters